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End Game (Fouth and Final Part of Alpha Messing with Dominic and DeWitt)
damien listening guitar
rogoblue
b>Title:</b> End Game (Part 4/4 of Alpha messing with Dominic and DeWitt)
Rating: R (language, sexual situations including non consensual sex)
Author: rogoblue
Summary: Following Strange Reparations, Second Thoughts and There’s NSA Tech in My Chair, Alpha makes a brief appearance to torment and tempt Adelle DeWitt and Laurence Dominic, but he is the least of their problems.
Part 1
I blame myself.
Part 2
I could have taken a cab home, Mr. Dominic.
Part 3
Someone’s been messing with my chair.
Spoilers: Through the episode after Spy in the House of Love, I suppose.
Words: 8,900.
Disclaimers: The toys are Joss Whedon’s. The idea is mine.
Dedication: To everyone who’s still out there reading this sort of thing.




“Am I the only one who gets that we’re better off without the Domster?” Topher asked Ivy, as he lowered the chair for Victor’s first imprint since Alpha had cut him on his latest Ms. Lonelyhearts engagement and dumped him in Adelle DeWitt’s house. “Can’t anyone else perceive and appreciate the lightening of the tone of the place in the absence of ignorance, hostility and barely controlled violence all rolled into one? Say it isn’t so, Ivy.” When his assistant didn’t speak, Topher said, “He doesn’t look that good in those designer suits, does he?”

“Topher,” Ivy said, sigh decidedly long suffering, “he’s not on vacation and he didn’t quit. Mr. Dominic disappeared from the car taking him to the airport. His driver was killed, there was blood on the back seat and Mr. Dominic’s gun was found underneath the car with only three rounds left. Only you consider the situation copacetic.”

“I imagine him being tortured,” Topher said, fingers flying across his keyboard. “It makes me feel all tingly inside.”

“You need therapy.”

“No, I don’t. I finally don’t. I’m happier than I’ve been in two years. The oppressiveness that is Laurence Dominic has been lifted from me. I can breathe again.” Gesturing to Victor, he said, “My creativity is at long last stifle free.” Hearing the elevator doors slide open, Topher asked, “Who’s our next customer?”

“We need to call Dr. Saunders and Ms. DeWitt,” Ivy said.

“Why do you want the boss lady and the good doctor?” Putting the finishing touches on the imprint, Topher said, “We’re almost done with Victor and wiping an active puts the ho in front of the hum.”

“Mr. Dominic’s back.”

Topher spun. A battered unconscious Laurence Dominic sprawled half in and half out of the elevator, a CD or DVD clutched in his left hand, button down shirt and suit pants bloody and torn. “Damn,” Topher said. “Paradise has been lost, along with a jacket and tie.”

* * *

“We need to get him downstairs to the infirmary,” Dr. Saunders said, aiming a penlight into each of Laurence Dominic’s eyes.

“How is he?” Adelle DeWitt asked, pleased at the evenness in her tone. It simply wouldn’t do to betray the fear and helplessness of the last 36 hours or the horror at the injuries exposed when Dr. Saunders had unbuttoned Dominic’s shirt.

“He has a mild concussion and bruising and lacerations consistent with a severe beating and torture calculated to cause a lot of pain.” Saunders sighed. “He had this in his hand.”

Adelle accepted the thin square case. “Take care of him,” she said, making sure no hint of tenderness crept into her voice. “I’ll have a look at this.”

“I should watch it with you,” Topher said, eyeing the case with what struck Adelle to be unhealthy avidity. “There may be neurological implications.”

“More likely, we’ll need to consider whether and how to imprint actives to address the situation,” Boyd Langton observed.

Wondering how quickly on her heels Langton had arrived, Adelle said, “I believe I’ll preview the footage, assuming there is any. This could just as easily contain data of some sort.” Before any arguments could be put forth, Adelle used the arrival of the medical support team to make her escape. She lost no time in taking the elevator to her office and pouring herself a bracing single malt Scotch. Her hand shook only slightly as she put the disc in her player.

“Hello, Adelle,” Alpha said, regarding her from a small, empty, white walled room. “I’m afraid I have some shocking news.” Mischievous smile appearing with unsettling suddenness, he said, “Maybe not so much, if you’ve been paying attention to signs and portents, Rossum style.”

An opulent office appeared. Clive Ambrose sat behind a massive desk, posture tense and watchful. Rising, weasel-like expression in place, he said, “You weren’t to damage him. That’s my prerogative.”

“He refused to come quietly, sir,” said a large man who shoved Laurence Dominic forward. Adelle winced as Dominic’s right knee buckled and he landed awkwardly on it. Pain flared in his eyes, but Dominic remained stoically silent as he regained his feet, swaying precariously. Shoving Dominic again, attaining the same result, the man snarled, ‘’Jenkins, Clark and Simm are dead. Pearsall and Davis need medical attention. This piece of shit needed to be taught a lesson.”

Watching Dominic rise again, Ambrose observed, “He doesn’t seem to have learned it, Cole.” Holding up a hand to forestall further comment, he said, “Which is fortunate for you, because I want the pleasure of breaking the intrepid Mr. Dominic before we forcibly install active architecture and imprint him to break Adelle DeWitt.”

Adelle pressed pause and took several deep breaths. Clive Ambrose was an ambitious, no talent with a highly inflated sense of his own worth. The thought of Laurence Dominic at his mercy made her quite ill until she reminded herself that Laurence was currently in her infirmary. Thus bolstered, Adelle pressed play once more.

Laurence Dominic laughed. Adelle had never heard a more derisive sound. “Christ knows you can’t break her yourself,” Dominic said. Glaring at Ambrose, yet somehow appearing amused, Dominic said, “Hell, you’ve been trying since she was a sweet young thing.” Adelle’s heart rate accelerated at the horrified disbelief in Ambrose’s eyes. “Roger the not so terribly happily married,” Dominic said, “bought it in a car accident. Who do you think actually believed that?”

Pausing the DVD again, Adelle’s mind reeled with the revelation that she’d been right all along. Ambrose’s frozen expression confirmed the correctness of Dominic’s assertion. Pulling herself together, tabling the issue of how Laurence Dominic knew, Adelle restarted the video.

“Everyone who mattered,” Ambrose said.

“Except Adelle.”

“First name basis,” Ambrose said, tone musing. “I never pictured her as one to allow such familiarity from an employee.”

“Who says she allows it?” Dominic said, full on smirk in place. “Maybe I’m just not as afraid of her as you are.”

“I’m not afraid of Adelle DeWitt,” Ambrose said, attempting to wave away the thought with a hand movement too precise to look anything other than affected. “She’s merely an inconvenient obstacle we wish to remove.”

“We,” Dominic said, flexing his knee, probably testing it. “I knew there had to be someone else. You don’t have the balls to pull me in, much less to go after Adelle.”

Adelle saw the slight tightening of Ambrose’s lips at Dominic’s continued use of her first name and doubted her Chief of Security had missed it.

“Hell, you’re even afraid to be alone in your office with me after your guys worked me over, Clive,” Dominic said. Glancing at the men who’d brought him in, he said, “How can you stand to work for this coward?”

“Pays well.”

“Didn’t you mother teach you that money isn’t everything?” Dominic asked. “That a man has his pride.” Shaking his head, Dominic placed his hands on his hips, posture far more aggressive than his normal deferential, quasi at attention stance. “If Adelle was this weak, I’d put her out of her misery.” Smiling coldly, Dominic said, “The woman she is would applaud me for it.”

“Take him to Bristol,” Ambrose ordered and the screen faded to black.

A sterile, brightly lit room with an overabundance of stainless steel was shown next. A chair looking more like a dentist’s than Topher’s sat in the middle of the room. A striking red haired woman stood next to it, stroking the head rest as though extolling the feature to a potential buyer. “So this is Laurence Dominic,” she said, obviously assessing the man assessing her. “I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. I apologize for the lack of amenities. We set this facility up quickly and everyone’s been too paranoid about security to provide much beyond all the bells and whistles for the head honcho’s office.”

“Mr. Ambrose wants you to give him the full treatment, Bristol,” Cole said, eyes following the woman as she slowly circled Dominic.

“Gladly,” Bristol said, radiating anticipation.

Adelle whispered, “No, Laurence,” when she saw his muscles tense, sensing that he weighed the odds of making a grab for the woman. She breathed a sigh of relief when he relaxed, having no doubt thought better of that strategy.

“You’re reputation precedes you, Mr. Dominic,” Bristol said, coming to a halt next to the chair after completing her circuit. “I’m looking forward to seeing if it’s well deserved or manufactured by small minds that can’t see past a facade.” Patting the chair in a friendly manner, she said, “Have a seat.”

“No, thanks,” Dominic said.

“That wasn’t a request, asshole,” Cole snarled. Dominic braced himself.

“It was, actually,” Bristol said, smiling at Dominic. “Mr. Dominic is welcome to stand if he likes.”

Cole’s puzzled look at Bristol evidently surprised Dominic. Adelle doubted either Bristol or Cole perceived the hint of wariness creeping into Dominic’s trademark stoic expression. Still smiling, Bristol said, “I don’t mind doing this the hard way.” She lifted a weapon out of the pocket of her lab coat and fired a dart of some kind into Laurence’s thigh. Quick as lightening, Dominic pulled it out, reversed the orientation and threw the dart, embedding it in Cole’s ample posterior.

“Ow,” Cole said.

“Now look what you’ve gone and done,” Bristol said, frowning imperiously. “I’m going to have to call for assistance.”

“Why?” Dominic and Cole asked together. Bristol merely examined the silver nail polish on her perfectly manicured fingernails. Dominic went down like a marionette that had had all of its strings severed at once. Cole followed suit. Furious blue eyes stared up at Bristol.

“You forced me to give you a paralytic, Mr. Dominic,” Bristol said, taking a cellular phone from the pocket of her lab coat. “Cole could’ve lifted you into the chair if you hadn’t seen fit to dose him too.” She sighed and tossed her hair in what might have been a somewhat becoming manner in other circumstances. “It’s Bristol,” she said. “I need some heavy and not so heavy lifting done down here.” She rolled her eyes. “Yes, now. Why else would I be calling?”

The scene jerkily shifted to Dominic reclined in the chair, no longer wearing his suit jacket or tie, restrained at the throat, biceps, wrists, thighs and ankles, tracking Bristol as best as he could. Adelle wondered at the precaution. Surely a paralytic made physical restraints redundant.

“Why?” Dominic asked, proving once again that his and Adelle’s minds worked in a similar fashion much of the time.

“Can’t be too careful,” Bristol said, tone airy, eyes cold, “or too brutal, according to your non-fan Clive Ambrose. What’s his beef with you, anyway?” Laughing when Dominic failed to reply, Bristol patted him on the shoulder. She leaned in to purr directly into Dominic’s right ear. “Don’t worry, baby, very soon you’ll be begging to tell me everything I want to know. Trouble is, I don’t want information. I don’t care if you spill the proverbial beans. My thing is pain. Hopelessness too. Those rev me up like nothing else.” Dominic stared at her, expression admirably neutral. “Do you want to start with drugs, knives or blunt trauma?” Bristol asked. Not waiting more than a few heartbeats for a response, she murmured, “Why force you to choose?”

She cut along Dominic’s left inner thigh with a scalpel and struck him along the line of the cut with something that looked like a metal meat mallet. Dominic grunted. Bristol crooned to him as she injected something into his right arm. “The drugs are my favorite, really. I admit it.” Lowering her voice to a whisper, Bristol said, “What are you afraid of, Mr. Dominic?”

“There’s no point to fear,” Dominic said, closing his eyes, outwardly quite calm.

“Very nice,” Bristol said. “Stated with conviction. I look forward to watching that illusion shatter.” Turning to someone out of the camera frame, she said, “Watch his vitals. Ambrose will have a cow if he strokes out in the chair. I’ll be back when he’s gibbering incoherently.”

Now Adelle understood the restraints. Dominic’s muscles spasmed, apparently uncontrollably. His eyes opened and Adelle gasped. They were wide, bloodshot and unfocused, quite unlike his normal, cool blue penetrating gaze. His lips moved, but Adelle couldn’t hear what he was saying. Leaning forward, focused on Laurence’s mouth, Adelle did her best to lip read.

Laurence Dominic mouthed, “It’s not real,” repeatedly, his hands clenching into fists, then relaxing, clenching, relaxing, as if he somehow anchored his mind with the mantra and repetitive motion.

Adelle marveled at the mental discipline she witnessed, noting the return of slow even breathing and the relaxation of Dominic’s muscles. By the time Bristol returned, Dominic appeared to be asleep. Gratified by Bristol’s frown, Adelle refused to imagine how the woman would react to her defeat.

“Let’s get this over with,” Bristol said, tone brisk, business-like, but Adelle thought she heard anger beneath the veneer of calm. “You know what Ambrose expects, Carl. Get it done.”

A small, somewhat effeminate man stepped into the frame. Smiling, he donned surgical gloves and unbuttoned Dominic’s shirt. Selecting a six inch serrated blade from an array of knives, Carl cut Dominic’s abdomen in a ragged, more or less straight line from just below his right nipple to the waistband of his slacks.

“It’s not real,” Dominic groaned, straining unsuccessfully to angle his head to see his chest, indicating that he remained aware of his body at some level despite the drug he’d been given. Apparently convincing himself of the truth of his mantra, Dominic lay back while Carl carved up his chest. Tossing his knife aside, Carl took up the tool resembling a meat mallet and created the tableau Dr. Saunders was currently treating.

“This one’s mentally tougher than the others,” Carl observed. “You might not be able to force the active architecture on him.”

Bristol’s smile chilled Adelle to the bone. “I don’t intend to take no for an answer, Carl, but even if he can play the resistance card long enough for me to get bored, there are alternative means to the end Ambrose wants.” Running her fingers through Dominic’s hair, Bristol murmured, “Everyone has their breaking point. Even this very fine specimen.” Glancing at Carl, Bristol said, “Do you think the Adelle DeWitt person Ambie is so hot to screw over is frigid or something?” Bristol placed her hand on Dominic’s thigh. “How could she not have taken this to bed?”

“Maybe she’s being professional,” Carl said, dabbing Dominic’s blood from his chest with a gentleness Adelle hadn’t expected. “They work closely together, so I’m given to understand.”

“Tell me you wouldn’t totally hit this, Carl,” Bristol said, sliding her hand along what Adelle knew to be very firm flesh.

“In a New York minute, as people used to say.”

“Even if you worked closely with him?” Bristol asked.

“Especially if I worked closely with him,” Carl replied. “God, to look at him every day and not touch. I don’t’ think so.” Carl met Bristol’s eyes. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“If you’re thinking that Adelle and Laurence might not just be colleagues, regardless of what Ambrose-san says, yes,” Bristol said. “And that, my good man, changes everything. My strategy and my methods. It’s a pain in the ass to have superiors with tunnel vision.” Leaning down, Bristol placed her mouth next to Dominic’s ear again. “I’m sorry, baby. My bad. I’ll give you what you want now. I promise.”

The elevator doors opened. Adelle paused the video and turned to face Topher and Boyd Langton. “Yes,” she said.

“How’s the movie of the week?” Topher asked.

Frowning in Topher’s direction, Langton said, “Dr. Saunders has stabilized Mr. Dominic.”

“She didn’t say that exactly, but she stopped swearing under her breath at the people who beat him to a bloody pulp,” Topher added. “We didn’t know how else to interpret that behavioral shift and she wasn’t taking clarifying questions.” Topher shuddered. “She has her game face on and we’re talking seriously serious with the scary.”

“While you didn’t specifically say to keep you apprised, we felt you should know of the change in his medical status,” Langton said, as Adelle watched Topher angle to get a look at her screen.

Deciding to allow him to observe the bloody mess that Bristol had created, Adelle said, “Thank you, Mr. Langton. Do let me know if any other significant changes occur.”

“Oh. My. God.” Topher leaned in to examine the image more closely. “Is … is he conscious?”

“Yes,” Adelle said, as Langton joined Topher. “He has been throughout.”

“Tough,” Langton observed.

“Disciplined,” Adelle suggested, wondering at her certainty and what in Dominic’s past had given rise to the trait.

“Raw meat,” Topher whispered, slightly wild eyes finding Adelle’s. “That’s what his chest looks like.” His hand rose to his mouth. “I’m going to be sick.”

“Not here,” Adelle commanded.

Eyes wide, breaths coming in shallow pants, Topher backed toward the elevator.

“Once I’ve finished with this,” Adelle said, gesturing toward the screen, “I’ll want to see the senior staff.”

“Of course,” Langton said, joining Topher in the elevator.

Before she resumed, Adelle poured another Scotch and sipped thoughtfully. With an amazingly steady hand, she pressed play.

“I don’t want anything from you,” Dominic said, impressive glare aimed at Bristol who tapped him on the end of his nose playfully.

“That’s only because you have no idea what I can offer,” she said, reclining the chair. “Close your eyes and relax.”

“No.”

Bristol sighed dramatically. “This doesn’t have to hurt.”

“I’m not going to let you install active architecture in my head.”

“I’m not trying to at the moment.” She typed rapidly on her laptop. “This procedure is very different. In many ways cruder but awesomely effective nonetheless.”

“What …,” Dominic swallowed hard, “what are you doing?”

“I’m going to directly stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain. Neurons will fire, connections will be made with your most pleasant memories.” Bristol smiled down at him. “Not everybody gets to relive the best sex they’ve ever had in crystal clear high definition, as only your mind can bring it to you.”

“Why do you assume my most pleasant memories are of sex?”

“You’re a guy.” Making a show of activating the chair, she said, “Have fun. I know I will. I love to watch men lose control.”

Dominic shuddered and strained against his bonds. “No,” he said. “Christ, fuck, no!” His back arched to the extent it was able. His fingernails dug into the arms of the chair. Adelle feared for his ankles as he struggled to free his legs. Frantic blue eyes darted around the room until Dominic sighed and they drifted closed. Adelle watched Laurence’s muscles relax and the lazy smile forming on his face quickened her heartbeat. “No,” he murmured.

“Well, that’s a ‘No’ that means ‘Yes,” Bristol said, smiling, beckoning. “C’mon, Carl, enjoy the show.” The small man entered the very corner of the frame.

Adelle focused on Dominic. He shifted in what appeared to be very pleasant discomfort.

“Adelle, stop,” Dominic groaned. “God, please.”

Bristol gave Carl a high five. “The boss couldn’t keep her hands off of the merchandize,” she said.

“I get that,” Carl said, eyes glued to Dominic’s crotch.

Horrified yet fascinated, Adelle watched Dominic’s hips lift, his anatomy straining the fabric of his slacks.

Humming something Adelle didn’t recognize, Bristol unfastened Dominic’s belt. Licking her lips, the neuroscientist unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. Seconds later she’d freed his erection. “He’s beautiful,” Bristol whispered, as she hiked up her skirt. “That face, those hands, that much desire. ” She grinned at Carl. “It’s wrong to leave him like this, isn’t it?”

Nearly drooling, Carl nodded. Bristol climbed onto the chair, straddled Dominic and arranged herself to her satisfaction. “Ummmmmm, yes,” she moaned, as she lowered herself onto Dominic.

His hips hitched and he murmured, “Love you.”

Adelle’s breath caught in her throat. Bristol murmured, “I love you too, baby. You make me come; I’ll love you even more.”

Adelle watched with helpless rage as Bristol rode Dominic to a very vocal orgasm. Slumped onto Dominic’s ruined chest, Bristol disengaged their bodies, revealing the culmination to have been one sided. Bristol said, “Carl, you have to take a taste. Seriously.” When Carl didn’t reply, Bristol lifted her head and screamed in earnest. Carl lay bloodied and broken on the floor. Bristol soon joined him, courtesy of Alpha.

Alpha’s fingers flew over the laptop, but he kept looking over his shoulder worriedly at Dominic. Adelle didn’t want to think about what might daunt the eminently creative genius or what implications Alpha’s dismay could have for Dominic. “They were going to imprint you to brutally rape Adelle,” Alpha murmured. Frowning exaggeratedly, one hand on his hip, the other pointing and clicking at high speed, he said, “After all the trouble I went to in order to get the two of you to embrace the possibilities of togetherness and all because they don’t want her to have anyone she can trust.” Lowering his voice, Alpha muttered, “As if we’re completely out of the woods in that regard.” He took a long look at Dominic. “I’m totally going to cry foul. Yes, indeed, I am, but first things first.”

The restraints released with rapid-fire sharp clicks. Adelle jumped. Laurence reached for something, frown at the lack of success giving way to a pleased smile. “You don’t have to do that,” Dominic murmured. “I don’t need—Christ!”

Alpha shook Dominic’s shoulder and slapped him in the face, rather harder than warranted, Adelle thought. He pried both of Dominic’s eyes open and stared into them, frowning at the lack of recognition. “Adelle, come up here,” Dominic panted. “I want to touch you.”

Pressing his hand against Dominic’s bloody chest, Alpha rolled his eyes at the ambiguity of Dominic’s groan. “We need to derail this fantasy or memory or whatever the hell it is, Dom. We don’t have all night to get you out of here.” Alpha gazed around the room before moving to Bristol’s desk and rifling through her drawers. Adelle willed him to look on the shelf over the narrow work bench from which Bristol had obtained the drug she’d given Dominic. In six minutes and twelve seconds, he did. Grunting softly, Alpha selected a syringe. “This might do the trick. It’s just adrenaline, Dom,” Alpha said, preparing Dominic for an injection with practiced ease derived from multiple imprints. “No worries.” Alpha said. When through, he, tossed the syringe across the room and glanced at his watch.

Nothing happened. Adelle bit her lip as concern flooded Alpha’s features. “Open up those baby blues, Dom,” Alpha coaxed, shaking the other man’s shoulder again.

Dominic’s hand shot out and he grabbed a fist full of Alpha’s black turtleneck. “Now,” Dominic groaned, eyes open but unfocused. “Christ, now!”

“Fuck this,” Alpha said. He leaned in and took Dominic’s mouth with his, hand getting busy beneath the other man’s waist. “I can’t undo what the redhead did to you so we’re just going to have to finish up here. If you aren’t well adjusted enough to deal with me dealing with you in these trying circumstances, you’ll be traumatized for life and I’ll be back to square one with my plans.”

Fanning herself, Adelle drained her second drink. Alpha trying to bring Dominic off after Dominic had been so clearly focused on her during his ordeal robbed her of her vaunted control.

“C’mon, Dom, Jesus,” Alpha muttered, glancing worriedly at the door. “It won’t be much longer before the left hand figures out what the right hand isn’t doing.” Smiling, seemingly directly into the camera, Alpha said, “Sorry, Adelle. I didn’t expect to be giving a jerk off tutorial. Think of it as an unexpected additional bonus.”

Shaking her head, Adelle whispered, “He’d have come by now, had you been me. He can’t resist the combination of my accent and manicured fingernails deftly employed.” The memory hit Adelle so hard she gasped for breath. Laurence Dominic had been waxing eloquent in his disapproval of Topher’s cavalier disregard for propriety. Because he’d handled the client’s complaint about Sierra’s attitude in her absence, Adelle was willing to allow Dominic’s temper free reign. To a point. When he’d taken the opportunity to expand the scope of his criticism beyond the incident in question, Adelle had murmured, “Sit down, Mr. Dominic. On the couch, if you would.” He’d frowned at the interruption but complied. Before he could begin anew, Adelle had sat and turned her upper body toward him, mouth just below his ear. “You mustn’t fret about Topher, Laurence,” she’d said, her voice low and throaty, her hand coming to rest just below his belt buckle. “It’s bad for your digestion, among other things.” Stroking him through his slacks with her fingernails slowly, she said, “I’ll phone Mr. Montgomery to ensure all of his ruffled feathers have been smoothed.”

“They have,” Dominic had snapped, eyes cold and angry, but his voice softened ever so slightly when he added, “Stop that.”

“Why?” Adelle had asked, smiling, eying him avidly, relishing his response to her touch.

“We agreed not to do this here.”

“We agreed to rarely do this here and that you would have any incriminating video erased.”

“You proposed that. I didn’t agree.”

“No,” Adelle had commanded, freezing Dominic’s hand inches from smacking hers away. “I want to watch you lose control, Laurence.” She bit his ear lobe and smiled at his sharp hiss of pleasure admixed with pain. “I want to please you, not because you will it or allow it, but because you body demands it.”

“Adelle—.”

“Close your eyes, listen to my voice, let me do this for you, for us.”

Laurence Dominic groan of relief pulled her from her reverie. Adelle watched, fascinated, as Alpha cleaned Dominic up to the extent possible, tucked him inside his pants and zipped him up, all before Laurence’s eyes focused. “What … what the hell?” Dominic said, gazing around the room rapidly, noting the two corpses without undue interest. “Where’s Adelle?” Not getting what he needed from Alpha’s bland expression, Dominic said, “How could you let her wander around here on her own? We can’t let Ambrose near her.”

“She isn’t here, Dom,” Alpha said, maneuvering Dominic into a seated position. “She never was. Your encounter was only in your mind, courtesy of some Rossum tech that could easily be improved upon, but I guess they don’t have a genius in residence.”

Dominic’s eyes scanned the room again, disbelief evident. “She was here. I know she was.”

“No,” Alpha said, tugging Dominic to his feet, steadying him with a hand on his upper arm. “But you sure thought she was.” Alpha grinned nastily. “Have you ever actually told her you love her?”

“What?”

“Heard, ‘Love you,’ with my own two ears.”

“You are so full of shit; it should be coming out your ears.”

Alpha and Dominic faced off, dueling with scowls. Adelle held her breath. “Button your shirt,” Alpha commanded, “we’re moving out.”

Dominic complied with shaking hands that Adelle hoped could be attributed to the adrenaline Alpha had administered. The pistol Alpha provided seemed too heavy for him, but Dominic persisted with gritted teeth. She could tell what keeping up with Alpha cost Dominic in their narrow escape from Clive Ambrose’s facility. Even if she’d been taken in by his, “Everything’s fine,” “I’m good,” and “No worries,” lies, the dropping to his knees and being violently ill would’ve easily given him away.

The two men fell into a high end sport utility vehicle. “You like?” Alpha asked. Dominic’s nod looked like it hurt. “The person I appropriated it from didn’t appreciate it or put it through its paces anywhere near routinely enough. This fine machine was languishing from trips to and from the grocery store.” Alpha continued his monologue. Dominic fell asleep. At the next red light, Alpha dosed him with something to make sure he stayed that way. “Nighty, night, big guy,” Alpha said, running his fingers gently through Dominic’s hair. “By the time you wake up, you’ll be back with your lady. Consider taking my advice, will you please. I’d hate to lose all the progress we’ve made. So would you. So would the lovely Adelle.”

The elevator door opened and Laurence Dominic limped into Adelle’s office, focus entire, body taut.

“I told you,” Dr. Saunders said, following Dominic. “She’s fine.”

He put his hands on her shoulders, touch light but sure. “Are you ok, Adelle?”

Distracted by the burgundy T-shirt and gray yoga pants that had replaced the bloody remnants of his suit, Adelle murmured, “Why do you ask?”

“He said he wanted to hurt you.” Dominic backed up a step, his eyes darting to Saunders. Adelle assumed the doctor’s presence kept Dominic from identifying Clive Ambrose, but she was uncertain why he bothered with the obfuscation. “Someone else told me they were going to imprint me to hurt you badly. I haven’t hurt you, have I?”

“Not if you don’t count returning to our House a bloody and beaten mess.”

“Good,” he said, suddenly looking surprised, a wry smile forming. “I’m hungry. I wonder how long it’s been since I’ve eaten.”

Adelle punched the intercom button on her phone. “Judith, please order up dinner for two. Mr. Dominic and I have things to discuss.”

“Of course, Ms. DeWitt,” Judith replied.

“Thank you, Dr. Saunders,” Adelle said, stepping between doctor and patient, seeing the uncertainty and disapproval in the former’s eyes.

“He should rest.”

“Do sit down, Mr. Dominic,” Adelle said, gesturing toward the couch. He complied without hesitation, daring to put his inexplicably bare feet up on her coffee table, endeavoring to appear to be resting rather than merely seated, Adelle assumed. “I’ll look after him, Dr. Saunders. Will dinner, whatever medication you suggest and a good night’s rest serve?”

Still clearly dissatisfied, Saunders handed Dominic a bottle of pills. “For the pain. You can take a dose now and another in four hours,” she said. “No alcohol, Mr. Dominic.”

“You said that downstairs,” he said. After Saunders retreated, Dominic rested his head on the back of the couch. “We’re in serious shit, Adelle,” he whispered when she sat down next to him. “Clive Ambrose did this, acting on someone else’s orders. ”

“I know.”

“How in the hell can you possibly know?”

“Alpha is capable of hacking any video feed he chooses and he apparently installed something in the vehicle he stole. He provided a DVD of your experiences along with you.”

“There was a webcam,” Dominic said. “In the SUV, I mean. Are you the only one who saw the show?” She nodded and he relaxed.

“Once Ambrose and whoever find out I’m back here, if they haven’t already, we’re in for—.”

“If they haven’t already?”

“My aborted trip wasn’t a matter of public record within Rossum,” Dominic said, raising his water glass to his lips. “Someone gave me to Ambrose and company.” He sighed and closed his eyes for just a moment. “The list of possible suspects isn’t all that long.”

“Me,” Adelle said, resting her hand on his shoulder, rubbing it lightly, “Your driver, your second in command, Judith, Dr. Saunders and Topher.”

“Topher? Fuck! He can’t keep a secret to save his life. Damn Rossum spy could be anyone. Hell, he probably posted my schedule on the Internet.”

Adelle shook her head. “Dr. Saunders is the more likely to have told others,” she said. “She made her disapproval of our plan quite clear.”

“She keeps to herself, just like he did. Who would she tell?”

“She speaks with the handlers routinely. I’ve noticed her with Mr. Langton and Ms. Boyle in particular.”

“Maybe,” Dominic allowed. “Why’d you bring Topher in, Adelle? Are you still mad about me missing that dinner last week?”

Meeting accusatory blue eyes, Adelle said, “So he would be ready to prepare the imprints we’ll need for phase two and, no, I am no longer angry over your flimsy excuse to avoid dining with the Mayor.”

If Adelle had blinked, she would’ve missed his smile. “There isn’t going to be a phase two, Adelle. Phase one didn’t get out of the starting gate and the timetable has been dramatically accelerated. Ambrose is exposed. Unless whoever’s using him plans to cut their losses and remain in the shadows, we’re going to war as soon as tomorrow, next week at the latest.”

“Don’t take those!”

Pills in hand, Dominic looked up in shock. Adelle took the pills and the bottle from him, perversely enjoying his discomfort. She went to her desk and crushed the pills with a Murano glass paperweight. Sniffing the powder convinced her. Lifting the receiver of her phone, Adelle said, “Judith, do confirm that Dr. Saunders has left the House this evening, won’t you?” She met Laurence’s gaze. “An extremely fast acting poison, guaranteed to ensure that anything you had to say to me from this point forward wouldn’t have been heard.” There was nothing to say to that, so neither spoke.

Adelle’s phone buzzed. “She has gone, ma’am,” Judith said. “No one seems to know where.”

“Thank you, Judith.” Adelle collected herself. “Let us take a step back,” Adelle said, resisting the temptation to try to diminish his rising anxiety in a highly inappropriate but guaranteed effective manner. “What do you recall, Laurence?”

“I fell asleep. I think. My memory is … isn’t … it’s spotty. I remember the attack on the car. We were wedged in on all four sides by black Hummers. I didn’t have enough ammunition, but that didn’t matter because I didn’t have time to exhaust what I had.” Bloodshot eyes speared Adelle’s. “Clark?”

“He’s dead.”

“I will kill Clive Ambrose with my bare hands for that.” He put his feet back on the floor, as if preparing to hunt the man down in a few moments time.

“You remember your encounter with Clive, obviously. Beyond that?”

He put a hand to his head as though it ached profusely. “There was a woman with red hair and ….” His eyes widened and he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. “And a chair. A fucking chair like Topher’s. I … I … couldn’t move. Couldn’t fight. I can’t remember why I couldn’t.”

“She dosed you with a paralytic and restrained you to within an inch of your life.”

“Why do both?” Adelle kissed him gently, smiling as he responded, fingers entwining in her hair. “God, you’re beautiful.” They kissed again, taking their time, relaxing into it. “What are we going to do?” he whispered. “We aren’t ready for anything like this. On our timetable, we had a shot, but now … I don’t know, Adelle.”

“We are going to have dinner, Laurence,” Adelle said, smiling as his arms tightened around her, settling against his side, careful of his injured chest. “Analyze the situation and make our plans.” Separating easily when the elevator doors opened, they watched Judith direct the service people to lay out their dinner on the coffee table before the couch. The sommelier served them both a glass of red wine. Pork tenderloin medallions with olive oil, rosemary and thyme, an excellent albeit simple salad and hearty rolls ready to be dipped in high quality olive oil were set before them. Adelle smiled as Laurence obviously reined himself in, eating more slowly than she’d anticipated, as she believed that he hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday. As her fear for Dominic faded in the comfort of his presence, Adelle’s analytical mind surged into high gear, generating far too many questions for the man seated beside her.

* * *

“What?” Dominic asked, as he pushed his empty plate away, facing Adelle warily. She’d been staring at him speculatively throughout dinner. He realized he’d gotten out of the habit of being the subject of Adelle DeWitt’s non-sexually motivated scrutiny.

“How did Alpha know Ambrose abducted you?”

“I don’t know,” Dominic said. Adelle’s arched eyebrow demanded more. “He told me he’s dialed in to Rossum in a number of ways but gave me no specifics.”

“When was that?”

“When was what?”

“When did Alpha tell you he was dialed in to Rossum?”

Adelle said I arrived with a DVD of my recent experiences. Damn. Take care, Dom. Here be dragons.

“Mr. Dominic?” Adelle prompted, looking as though impatience was about to give way to anger.

“Why does that matter?” Dominic asked, leaning back into the couch, catching Adelle’s hand in his. “The way I see it, the important thing is that Ambrose’s attempt to imprint me to rape you failed. Unless Alpha hijacked the video rather than just copied it, unlikely in my opinion, and assuming the mole has told Ambrose or his boss I’m back, they know we know what they tried.”

“Or merely strongly suspect it.”

“Even so, they can’t afford not to act on those suspicions.” Cupping Adelle’s chin in his free hand, Dominic said, “They wanted to isolate you by having me betray your trust in a brutal way and bring into question your ability to trust anyone else. That didn’t work, but there’s a more direct and a hell of a lot bloodier way of isolating you. If plan B is a full frontal assault of the military variety, we need to be ready.” Willing her to believe him, he said, “Adelle, we need to be ready soon.”

“I was afraid,” she murmured, surprising him by the shift in topic away from practical considerations. “When we received news of your disappearance and the manner of it. I’ve been afraid ever since. I loathe being afraid.”

“More than Arizona?” he asked, pleased to have gotten a small smile out of Adelle.

“Much more,” she said. “Someone chose well when they decided to hurt me via you.” Eyes haunted, Adelle shuddered. “If you had returned imprinted as Ambrose wished, if you had taken me against my will, the sex solely about power, your power over me, your superior physical strength, I have absolutely no idea how I would’ve managed. That … that might have broken me.”

Fighting to keep his breathing even, to remain calm, Dominic said, “No it wouldn’t have. You’re too strong for that.”

“No, I’m not. Not when it comes to you. Not anymore. Between the two of you, you’ve seen to that.” Clearly seeing his confusion, she murmured, “You and Alpha.” Adelle frowned. “How did Alpha put it?” she mused. “After all the trouble he went to maneuver us to embrace the possibilities of togetherness, Rossum intended to take you from me, not simply by eliminating you but by destroying what we have.”

“Embrace the possibilities of togetherness?” Dominic asked, radiating skepticism.

“That bit was a direct quote if I’m not mistaken.”

“I don’t remember that.”

The strange smile on Adelle’s lips matched the odd look in her eyes. “I expect not.”

“What’s significant about the part I can’t remember?” he asked, not entirely sure he wanted an answer.

“It was at that point that my fear transformed into rage.” Dominic steadied Adelle’s hand as she poured wine for them both, shocked by the waves of hostility emanating from her. “Alpha had no business killing her,” she snarled. “It was over far too quickly. She should’ve paid a higher price.”

He’d seen Adelle angry before, many times, but nothing like this. Assuming she referred to the redhead, he said, “She paid the ultimate one.”

“Deservedly so.”

Increasingly uncomfortable, painfully aware of not having perfect information, Dominic asked, “Do I want to know what her big mistake was?”

They faced each other for an extended, tension filled time until they raised their wine glasses in unison, as they did so many things. “She raped you,” Adelle spat. “She used the chair to stimulate you, climbed atop you and pleasured herself. Then she offered you to the disgusting tiny man who’d damaged your chest.”

Dominic glanced down at his T-shirt clad torso, stunned by the revelation on every level. “I … ah … I think I’d remember that.” Suddenly nervous for an entirely different reason, he said, “I remember you. Alpha said it was a memory of you and I see that now but at the time, it seemed very real.”

“What memory?” she asked, tone almost playful, eyes avid and curious but clearly still angry.

He tried his best boyish smile, admittedly tarnished by the last decade or so of his life. “It was the last time you went down on me.” The expression of immense satisfaction on Adelle’s face should’ve been annoying but it wasn’t. “That was epic.”

“Be that as it may, Laurence, you were deeply under the influence of Rossum neurological manipulations.” She met his eyes and squeezed his hand. “Alpha couldn’t undo them.”

Adelle’s expression defied interpretation. What isn’t she saying? Redhead has her wicked way with me and offers me up to someone else. Oh shit, more than implying I was still hard and if Alpha couldn’t dial down the tech, then … fuck me. With Adelle watching, no less. Perfect.

Something in his expression gave him away. “Alpha fancied he was giving me helpful tips.”

“You don’t need any,” Dominic muttered, wondering how his life had gotten so damn complicated and completely fucked up. “We can leave this topic at any time, just so you know.”

“Alpha knew Ambrose kidnapped you. He knew where Ambrose took you and where to find you within that facility. Somewhere reasonably local, evidently, given the timing. He rescued you before you were imprinted, because he wants us together to presumably stop the Clive Ambrose contingent from taking control of Rossum. Yet he returned you here, likely knowing that a Rossum spy will report it to the very people he wants to best. Why not allow you to recover somewhere else and simply send the DVD to my attention?” Adelle drained her glass of wine, frowned and nodded. Dominic wasn’t sure what that meant. “He wanted us backed into a corner. Why do you suppose, Laurence?”

While he could answer the question, Dominic was far from certain it was the right thing to do. “It’s complicated,” he said, watching Adelle closely. Her fundamentally simple kiss called to every cell in his body. Feeling his way, knowing he had to disclose something, Dominic said, “Alpha and I spoke when I responded to his summons to your house. He asked for my cooperation in taking Rossum down. I gave it.” Her sharp intake of breath inspired him. “I’ve told him what we planned to put in motion and suggested how he might help us. Things are close to spinning out of control, Adelle. People are getting ideas far beyond programming actives to service clients in whatever way they might be able to afford. There are whispers about going global. The tech might not be there yet, but it will be. You know it as well as I do.”

“Not without Topher.”

“Who’s to say they can’t buy Topher off with a die cast metal model of the Millennium Falcon?”

“You’re conspiring with Alpha against me?” Adelle asked, dismay more than apparent.

“No! Of course not. He’s been pushing … What was the word?” It came quickly to mind. “Togetherness. Why would he waste his time with that if he planned to pit us against each other?”

“Maybe he did it to give Rossum a weapon to use against me,” she whispered. “You.”

“Why prevent them from imprinting me, then?”

“To ensure that you do whatever you intend to do now.”

Dominic sighed, reaching for his aching head, trying to fathom a reply that made sense. “You’re half right.”

“This isn’t the time for cryptic statements.”

“He prevented them from imprinting me to force my hand,” he said, “but he did it to give you a weapon to use against Rossum, not the other way around.”

“What weapon?” she demanded.

“Me.”

Adelle extricated her hand from his and Dominic regretted the loss of contact. “How can you possibly be my secret weapon? Rossum knows about you.”

“Not everything,” Dominic said. “They have no idea what I can do for you.”

“I should say not,” Adelle said, smiling slightly.

Rolling his eyes, Dominic said, “I don’t mean in bed.” Risking a smile, he added, “At least, not at the moment.” Adelle raised her eyebrow. “Think more in terms of a hostile takeover.”

“I’m listening.” Her tone waffled between skeptical and intrigued.

“I’ll get around to the particulars,” he said, giving in to the temptation to touch her cheek with his fingertips. “When you asked me to forgive you for lying about the Ms. Lonelyhearts engagements, you said you’d return the favor some day. I’m calling in that chip.” Adelle’s eyes narrowed but she didn’t pull back. Dominic took a deep breath, belatedly realizing he wasn’t armed. If this goes south, I’m screwed. “I work for the National Security Agency. I was sent here to monitor the uses of the technology to ensure it stayed within acceptable parameters and the Dollhouse remained predominantly thought of as an urban myth. That’s all.”

“And if the House didn’t stay safely in the realm of bedtime stories?” Adelle asked. “If Mr. Ballard found his way inside, for example.”

“He hasn’t.”

“Answer my question, Mr. Dominic.”

“I’d have taken Ballard out.” Dominic shrugged. “No one would miss him.”

“The technology is at risk of being abused. What’s the play?”

“If you agree, I’ll call in the NSA to deal with Rossum. I know where all of the facilities are, where all the top personnel live, everything pertinent to taking the fight to them on a global basis.”

Adelle cocked her head, clearly thinking. “Rossum has research facilities separate from the Houses.”

“Seventeen of them, yes.”

“How did you come by that information and the addresses you mentioned?”

“It’s my job to come by information of that nature.”

“How, Mr. Dominic?”

“I hacked the mainframe using a backdoor Topher designed and broke the encryption on Mr. Rossum’s private files.”

“Neatly implicating Topher, if your activities were ever discovered.”

“I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the blame,” Dominic said, wishing he could tell what Adelle was thinking.

“Three years by my side,” she murmured, “several weeks in my bed. How does it feel to live a lie? It felt awful, at times, to rent one.”

“After a while, it ceases to feel like a lie. It ceases to be a lie, Adelle. It’s just … life. Every so often, it gets dicey, like when Alpha revealed that he knew I was NSA, when the tech was discovered in the chair or … now.”

“Alpha knew?”

“Yes and before you ask, I don’t know how he found out.” He took another deep breath, bracing himself to continue. “I think that’s why he started us on the path he did. He knew I could help you if push came to shove and I think he thought you’d be more accepting of the situation if you cared a little for me.” Sensing something building in Adelle, he said, “I’m not so confident of the last bit, myself, but everybody says he’s a genius, so ...”

“I feel a fool.” Adelle poured herself more wine, pointedly ignoring Dominic’s empty glass. “I suspected nothing of the sort.”

“Why would you?” he asked. “There wasn’t anything to suspect. Not really.”

“How can you sit there looking impossibly boyish in that clothing and tell me you haven’t made a fool of me with conviction?”

“Because I believe it.”

“No one else will.”

“Are you seriously telling me you won’t agree to save everyone in this House and potentially a whole lot more people than that, because you’re afraid you’ll look bad?”

“No, I am not, Mr. Dominic.” Eyes spitting fire, Adelle said, “I resent intimacy being used to achieve a mission objective. I abhor the thought of how naïve you must think me to have been taken in. I will not be thought of as the woman Agent Dominic fucked in order to—.”

“Stop it!” he snarled, hands on her shoulders, barely resisting the urge to shake her. “To review—we were drugged, then shown the video of the amazing sex we had while drugged, then you freaking seduced me into trying to compete with Victor imprinted as Roger, then we just … I don’t know … continued. None of it was an act on my part. The sex wasn’t calculated to achieve anything other than as many orgasms as I could give you. I didn’t do it because I thought it would do me some good if you discovered I was an NSA agent. I slept with you because I want to, because I damn well enjoy it. Plain and simple.”

“You used me.”

“No, but I’m willing to let you use me to get us out of the trouble we’re in.” Dominic laughed without calculating the cost. “I just remembered what Alpha told me I should do—tell you myself, confess to insatiable lust and encourage you to use me for your own ends.”

“You confessed to something a bit different during your encounter with Ms. Bristol.” Her smile frightening in a fundamental way, Adelle said, “Alpha wasn’t the only one to hear the word love pass your lips.”

They regarded each other silently, neither giving nor taking an inch. “Shall I make the call, Adelle?” She stood, crossed her office and gazed out the window, gripping her wine glass far too tightly. Dominic wondered whether to keep his distance. Deciding against it, he joined her, daring to put a hand on the small of her back. “I’ll protect you as much as I can.”

“I’ve done what I’ve done,” Adelle said, looking over her shoulder at him. “I’ll pay whatever price is necessary. Make your call, Mr. Dominic.” She turned back toward the window with a finality that hit Dominic in the gut.

“Um … Adelle?”

“Yes.” She didn’t turn or look around.

“May I use your phone? I lost mine somewhere along the way.”

* * *

“It’s Dominic,” he said. “Initiate Full Frontal. Take it global.”

Adelle DeWitt stared out into the night, as Laurence Dominic issued orders—deploy agents to protect the LA Dollhouse immediately and prepare to assault all other locations as fast as possible but no later than in two days time. Adelle doubted they had that long. Proud of her self control and mastery over her emotions, she was stunned to find herself a hair’s breadth from being stripped of both. Her peers and superiors at Rossum wanted her neutralized and her only hope of surviving was a man who’d lied to her for three years, a man who satisfied her sexually like no other, a man she’d been deathly afraid of losing just a few short hours ago.

“Ma’am?” Adelle jumped, ignored the pang of regret Dominic’s mode of address engendered and refused to acknowledge him. “Adelle, it’s done.”

“It certainly is,” she murmured, thinking of all of the years of her life she’d devoted to Rossum, wondering exactly when the doubts about what they did had sunk their hooks into her mind.

“I’m sorry it had to end this way.”

“Why?” she asked, “you’ve served your NSA masters well. There’s likely a promotion in this for you.”

“I meant … um … us.”

A darkness surged within Adelle, accompanied by a searing heat. “That hasn’t ended until I say it has, Mr. Dominic.” She spun slowly, smiling like the predator she’d learned to be, stepping to within millimeters of Dominic. “Is that clear?” His breathing obviously coming faster, Dominic nodded. Adelle felt powerful in that moment, as though she could do anything at all to him, and she very much wanted to indulge herself. Burying both hands in the fabric of his T-shirt, Adelle pivoted him and shoved his back against the window, relishing his grunt of pain. “Tonight you’re going to make me forget tomorrow on my terms, by my rules, letting me touch you wherever and however I like and touching me as I dictate.”

“All right,” he murmured, aborting a reach for her about three quarters of the way there. “Whatever you want, Adelle. Anything you want.”

“I want to hurt you badly and please you so much you forget I did.” She punctuated her statement by pressing against his chest and Dominic’s knees nearly buckled. Reaching inside his yoga pants, Adelle began the stimulation part of her program, her teeth nipping his lower lip, the base of his throat and left nipple. “No!” she snarled as he pulled her against him. “You wait for instructions.”

“Yeah … yes … ma’am.”

She tormented, teased, seduced and kept at arm’s length until they got into bed. Relenting had never felt so good. Laurence regained a semblance of his control and brought her off quickly, repeated the maneuver and then settled in to work on getting them both some relief. Kisses softened, hands clasped, forbidden words were whispered, mutual culmination achieved. They lay side by side, both panting and sated. All barriers had finally come down. Laurence kissed Adelle. She eyed him until he began to look nervous before she kissed him back.

“What will tomorrow bring?” Adelle whispered.

“I don’t know,” Dominic said, “but the day after will definitely ring in some changes.”

“I’ll face them.”

“Not alone.”

Adelle maneuvered atop Dominic, fine tuning her position to her liking. “Is this what Alpha envisioned, do you think?”

“I think he imagined I’d be on top a little more.”

She laughed and his unguarded, genuine answering smile rewarded her in more ways than she would have ever thought possible.

THE END


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I think this was a clever and fitting end to the series. I was afraid it was going to be a sad ending somehow - that she'd end up dispatching him to the attic so I was relieved by the way you played it.

I like the way Alpha was used all the way through the series - instigator, co-conspirator and a closet romantic into the bargain.

I dressed Dom in bare feet a burgundy t-shirt and gray yoga pants to evoke what he wore when he got sent to the attic, so it was definitely on my mind. I don't think Dom's out of the woods, though. Adelle's kind of angry with him. Admittedly, the make up sex helped, but he may still have some work to do.

Alpha was really really fun and warped and strange in this (and a closet romantic). I had fun and I'm glad you did to.

Thanks SO MUCH for reading.

This was excellent. I'm so glad that you continued it. I really love how you've written Alpha; very true to character but so much more expanded than on the show (awesomely warped, witty, incredibly invested and romantic).

Plus, I love Adelle and Dom's relationship. The fact that she is attempting to look past the betrayal (despite being incredibly angry and humiliated) is big.

I loved it.

Thank you for sticking with me, yet again. I felt very little for Alpha during the show, but when I tried to write him, I thought I finally understood him a little and then went to town.

Adelle and Dom went through a lot and I wasn't sure how to end this, but angry make up sex suddenly seemed appropriate.

And looking past the betrayal is more or less what I thought she should've done on the show, so ... here we are. Finally!

Thanks for reading!

Man, this is so good. It's absolutely better than the show and actually doesn't make me miss it that much because you've painted the picture in the entire series so well that I'm just in awe. Absolutely wonderful, and I love the ending. The ending feels very 'them' to me. Great job, once again!

Thank you so much for the very kind words. They're both very gratifying and humbling.

The end took a while to form because I wanted it to fit but to be different than what I've done before and Alpha's sense of humor gave me Dominic's line so I was pleased.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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